Israel supporters show up at pro-Palestinian encampment at Northwestern, resulting in standoff

Tre Ward Image
Monday, April 29, 2024
Standoff ensues between pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian protesters at NU
Participants in a Northwestern protest on Deering Meadow have been calling for a Gaza cease-fire since Thursday as the Hamas-Israel war continues.

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Sunday marked the first time counter-protesters showed up on the Northwestern University campus since pro-Palestinian demonstrators set up an encampment on Thursday.

The standoff happened on Deering Meadow on campus. As the sun went down after a day of heated moments, demonstrators still remained unmoved.

Video earlier in the day showed over 100 people with Israel-supporting flags gathering on university grounds, shouting out "bring them home," referring to the hostages still being held by Hamas.

ABC7 was told pro-Palestinian demonstrators and students formed a human chain around their encampment as the counter protesters came near it.

University police created a barricade between both sides as the conflict went on for about an hour.

"They were trying to infiltrate the encampment. The student managed to de-escalate it, which is great. It remained peaceful and now we're back to just having our encampment for divestment," said Faten Dabis, a supporter of encampment demonstrators.

This comes as demonstrators have occupied Deering Meadow for four days straight, demanding the university to divest from Israel and calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

READ MORE | Newly released Hamas video appears to show American citizen among 2 hostages

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein said some Jewish students organized the counter-protest late Saturday, hoping to shed light on voices that are being unheard right now. Klein noted a moment when both sides seemed to reach a calm.

"There was a lot of shouting going on, but then there was also some dialogue that was going on, which I think was very important," Klein said. "Some people left the chain in order to discuss."

SEE ALSO | 1 arrested after police clash with pro-Palestinian demonstrators at UIUC

There were no reports of anyone hurt or taken into custody during the conflict earlier Sunday.

ABC7 has reached out to the university for a comment, but has yet to hear back.